Nonemergent forcible medication in an acute hospital.

W. M. Greenberg and S. Attia,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 21(4): 465-73, 1993.
Nonemergent forcible medication is a controversial procedure that has received somewhat less study in acute hospitals and in states where a simple in-house "treatment-driven" clinical review procedure is followed. We reviewed the charts of all patients so medicated by the New Jersey "Rennie" process on a large general acute adult psychiatric service, finding 43 (3%) of 1420 admitted patients so treated. Compared with a population of next-admitted individuals, these "Rennie" patients more frequently had previously required extended emergent forcible medication, had significantly longer hospitalizations (70 versus 26 days), not accounted for by the duration of treatment refusal, but improved with treatment so that almost all were discharged directly back to the community. Rennie patients appeared more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and were significantly more likely to have a known history of assault, threatened assault, or property damage, but significantly less likely to have a known history of suicide threat or attempt. They were also significantly less likely to have a principal or secondary diagnosis of personality disorder or substance use disorder.